Choosing a medical alarm that is right for you

Category: Families

If you've decided that you, or a loved one, requires a medical alarm, it pays to do your research to find out which alarm might best suits their/ your needs.

Elderly man with son | Medical Alarms | Bupa

If you've decided that you, or a loved one, requires a medical alarm, it pays to do your research to find out which alarm might best suits their/ your needs.

Approximately one­third of New Zealanders aged over 65 years fall each year[1]: these injury can cause long­term illness, lack of mobility and even shorten lifespans. A personal medical alarm (PMA) can help ensure that medical assistance is always available at the touch of a button when you need it.

What are Personal Medical Alarms?

A Personal Medical Alarm (PMA) is usually worn on the body and, by pressing a button, can activate an alarm to a medical call centre. The New Zealand­ based call centre will talk with you to find out what help you need, whether it’s an ambulance, your family or your neighbour. They will then get in touch with the help you want and stay on the line to make sure you’re okay until help arrives.

The 5 types of medical alarms

1. Pendant alarm: can be worn around your neck or wrist. The button activates your alarm from anywhere inside your home. This is usually worn with a neck cord or chain.

2. Wrist band alarm: if you don't like the idea of a pedant, or it's just not suitable for you, then the wrist band alarm may be preferable. It works in the same way as the pendant.

3. Waist fall detector: This alarm, worn at the waist, detects any sudden motion and impact, then sends an alarm to the call centre. Ideal for those who like to work in the garden.

4. Neck fall detector: Similar to above, this is worn around the neck and is waterproof, so it’s ideal to wear in the shower. It uses an accelerometer and barometric pressure to detect and alert the call centre if you’ve fallen.

5. Pressure switch: The pad is ideal to call for help if you have limited mobility or dexterity in your hands, and so find a pendant difficult to operate.

Whichever alarm you choose, it's important to determine the reasons why you need an alarm and how you can and will utilise it, in order to make the best decision for your needs.

[1]http://www.bpac.org.nz/BPJ/2010/March/falls.aspx




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